Donations & Philanthropy

Company Performance


  1. GlaxoSmithKline
  2. Sanofi
  3. Johnson & Johnson


  1. Novo Nordisk
  2. Merck KgaA 
  3. Eisai 


  1. AstraZeneca 
  2. Roche 
  3. Abbott 

Further Reading

2012 Donations (pdf)

2012 Company Ranking Donations

What Matters

  • Drug donations and philanthropic activities based on understanding of community needs, aligned with national health priorities and integrated with local environments and health practices
  • Compliance with WHO Inter-Agency Guidelines for Medicine Donations, supported by a strong rationale, good internal processes, monitoring and reporting of outcomes
  • Philanthropic activities supported by clear strategic rationale, with demonstrable sustainability and aligned with national health priorities

Key Trends

The level of activity in donations and philanthropy is high, with very substantial financial and nonfinancial resources being devoted to these activities. The highestranking companies are making good progress in directing these formidable resources to achieve the most positive outcomes, through increasingly needs-based initiatives that are aligned with national health priorities, well supported by good internal procedures and monitoring, and with reasonably high levels of transparency.


GlaxoSmithKline leads the area overall, with two single-drug donation programmes that involve substantial quantities and value of donated products and are well conducted, with good supporting processes and monitoring, rigorously selected external partners and, in one case, the use of WHO to validate the extent of need and the required response. Its philanthropic activities conducted directly and through ViiV Healthcare are also substantial and involve multiple initiatives across many relevant countries. 

Sanofi follows closely in 2nd place, also with two single-drug donations well supported by processes and monitoring, but with a lower level of donation value. Through its Sanofi Espoir Foundation, the company also conducts philanthropic activities that set the benchmark for other companies, funding multiple long-term initiatives in close collaboration with national governments and national and  international partners. These are aligned with national priorities and focussed on reducing health care inequalities over the long term while reducing disease burdens and improving health outcomes in the short term. 

Johnson & Johnson, in 3rd place, also performs very well in this area,  ith extensive investment and good processes, but with one single-drug donation programme. It also has an extensive range of philanthropic activities.

Most improved

Novo Nordisk (up 10 places) and Eisai (up nine places) rise primarily as a result of having introduced single-drug donation programmes since 2010. (Both of these are discussed in the full chapter).

The rise of Merck KGaA (up 10 places) is primarily due to its disclosure of much more information than in 2010, which enabled a more complete assessment of its performance in this area. 


For companies that have fallen in rank, AstraZeneca (down 12 places), Roche (down 11 places) and Abbott (down six places) fall significantly because they do not conduct single-drug donations and because they have not made significant progress in this area since 2010. They have therefore been overtaken by more active companies.

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